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Joyce Endee

School board reviews visit by Commissioner of Education

Virginia Barry impressed by district's programs and progress

May 05, 2011
WOLFEBORO — New Hampshire Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry, Ph.D. was pleased with what she saw during a recent visit to three schools in the Governor Wentworth Regional School District.

Superintendent Assistant Kathleen Cuddy-Egbert, who accompanied Barry during her tour, was pleased to share Barry's comments with the school board this past Monday evening at its May 2 meeting.

Drawn to the district after hearing of its implementation of the Response to Intervention (RTI) program at the kindergarten through eighth grade level, Barry was able to visit Carpenter Elementary, where she visited some classrooms and was treated to a music- and art-filled presentation. Barry was able to see RTI, an academic intervention designed to provide early, effective assistance to children having difficulty learning, in action as she toured the school.

Cuddy-Egbert said her one regret was not having the time to take the Commissioner to all seven of the district's elementary schools (and Kingswood Regional Middle School) where RTI is also being successfully implanted.

Cuddy-Egbert and the Commissioner also sat in on two meetings at the middle school and high school where Barry was very impressed with the committees at each. Cuddy-Egbert said Barry commented that the Middle School Restructuring team (required for Schools In Need of Improvement) was a phenomenal team that has made wonderful use of the restructuring process. Of the Student Advancement team at the high school Barry had equal praise. She was able to offer the group, which is looking at different ways to increase student performance, suggestions on what she feels are promising programs that will help accommodate a wider range of students academically. Barry's ideas, including multiple pathways to graduation, were well received and have given the group options to consider as viable for Governor Wentworth.

Teacher Appreciation Week inspired School Board Chair Jack Widmer to write up a letter of appreciation to all the district's teachers and support staff.

"…This year we have an additional reason to be proud and grateful to all of you who work in the district," he wrote of the Governor Wentworth Education Association's generous donation of five days of work in an effort to save jobs within the district.

"Thank you for the skill and the caring that every one of you, no matter which role you occupy in our system, bring to your job every day and for the sense of pride that you take in a job well done," Widmer wrote.

Having just had a tour of the buildings, Chair of the Building and Maintenance Committee Ernie Brown led a brief update on the Kingswood complex building and expansion project.

For the most part, every aspect of the project is ahead of or on schedule – which is a feat in itself as it takes a tremendous effort to coordinate work going on at the same time in the three buildings. From temporarily relocating classrooms to figuring out how to manipulate kitchen space to dealing with a failing distributor, North Branch Construction, Clerk of the Works Tom Boudette and their teams haven't yet come across a challenge they couldn't address. As June 3 approaches the construction company is preparing for a full assault on the main campus buildings after they are vacated for the summer.

The school board will meet again on Monday, May 23, at 6 p.m. in the Region 9 Vocational Education Center, following the annual retirement reception beginning at 4 p.m.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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